MX vs. ATV Supercross Preview: Fan service through and through
Two years ago, publisher THQ made headlines when it announced Chapter 11 bankruptcy. It was a sticky situation that led to the most talked about lottery in the industry’s history. As a result, some franchises found good homes, but many more were sent packing.
THQ Digital Phoenix was one of those developers kicked to the curb with nothing more than memories of what once was.
However, that scene is a far cry from the one I walked in on Thursday at E3. Tucked away in a far corner of the Convention Center’s West Hall was a small group of people stoked to be making games.
As the story goes, Nordic Games saved the Digital Phoenix team. Unfortunately, it couldn’t save everyone, but enough to continue making games. The result is MX vs. ATV Supercross.
Even with my limited knowledge of the series, I can sense that Supercross is the product of rejuvenation, a second chance, and belief. It’s not trying to do too much, but it is excelling at what it does best. Many often overlook that formula — developers and even gamers alike — but this small group has it on the front of their radar.
Supercross isn’t about flashy graphics. It doesn’t argue resolution or framerate. Rather, it’s about a solid racing experience that provides a lot of options for customization and replayability. It succeeds at both.
The game is simple enough to pick up and enjoy, but difficult to master if you’re set on taking on the rest of the world. Licensing manager David Knudsen told me the team set out to strike the perfect balance between casual and simulation, and it’s evident that they hit the jackpot.
Momentum is key in Supercross. Knudsen had a good laugh when he told me that he found out the community likes racing rather than admiring their crashes, but that’s the truth. Here, the emphasis isn’t on your wreck. You can now hit a reset button to get back on the track and continue with the mayhem. It’s a cool feature that really does keep you drawn into the action on the track.
The quality of racing is exemplified by the amount of content. Knudsen confirmed that MX vs. ATV Supercross will ship with 60 professional riders, 17 tracks, a free ride mode, and online multiplayer, including local split screen. The best part? It’s all packaged in for $29.99.
I only tried my hand at two races in MX vs. ATV Supercross, but I wanted to try more. I now understand the appeal for these games, and I appreciate Nordic Games even more for bringing back part of the team that believes in making fan-first content.
Players will be able to get their hands on MX vs. ATV Supercross later this year on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC.